December 13/06 8:19 am - 2007 Kelly Benefit Strategies Pro Cycling Team & Dom Perras Interview
Posted by Editor on 12/13/06
2007 Kelly Benefit Strategies Pro Cycling Team
The Kelly Benefit Strategies pro cycling team, one of the newest pro teams on the national racing circuit, today announces finalization of the 2007 roster - including two marquee former pro national champions - and the name-changing addition of a co-title sponsor.
Maryland-based Medifast, the country's leading manufacturer of clinically proven meal replacement programs, joins Kelly Benefit Strategies as co-title sponsor creating the Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast Pro Cycling Team. The addition gives the team the financial backing of two of the leading companies in corporate and personal health and wellness today.
The team also announces the final 2007 roster, a lineup of seasoned sprinters, climbers and rising young talent. Athletes headlining the roster include Dave McCook of the United States and Canadian national Dominique Perras who joins the Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast team along with former team-mate and fellow Quebec resident Martin Gilbert.
McCook, former USPRO Criterium Champion has dominated sprinting in the United States for the past fifteen years and brings guaranteed finishing expertise to the team. Perras, a former Canadian National Road Race Champion, has been a member of the Canadian national team since 1992, a professional since 1999 and a proven leader when it comes to climbing. He has participated in four UCI Pro World Championships.
"The addition of McCook and Perras has added road-tested strength, ability and experience to an already strong line up," says Jonas Carney, Performance Director for the Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast team. "If it comes to a bunch sprint or the need to lead in the mountains, we have guys who can definitely get that done and bring the younger riders with them. That's crucial for a new team off the start line."
The team has the full backing, support and involvement of Kelly Benefit Strategies and Medifast. Bicycle, equipment and other partnerships are all in the final stages of negotiation and will be announced ahead of the season start.
"We're excited to partner with an organization like Kelly Benefit Strategies," says Michael McDevitt, CEO, Medifast, Inc. "They're specialists in healthcare and leaders in the world of employee benefits. Medifast is in the business of helping people take charge of their nutritional health goals, and on a larger scale, increasing the understanding of the importance of health and wellness. This is a natural fit for everyone."
"We're going to see some terrific things out of this team - we're sure of that," says John Kelly, President, Kelly Benefit Strategies. "Our first priority has always been to attract and retain great athletes because we believe in putting the guys first. The addition of a partner like Medifast that knows and really understands nutrition is only going to help us look after our team and keep them performing at their best throughout the season."
The team is managed and operated by Minneapolis-based Circuit Global Sports Management (CGSM).
2007 Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast Roster
Dan Bowman (USA)
Kevin Bouchard-Hall (USA)
Martin Gilbert (CAN)
Mark Hinnen (CAN)
Dave McCook (USA)
Reid Mumford (USA)
Dominique Perras (CAN)
Ryan Roth (CAN)
Justin Spinelli (USA)
Johnny Sundt (USA)
Nick Waite (USA)
Dom Perras Interview
We had a chance to do a telephone interview with Dominique, while he was busy looking afterhis two month old son, Felix (who was gurgling in the background).
CC - So, what's it like being a father now?
DP - It's fantastic! I'm really enjoying it. Actually, we've been lucky; it's been pretty easy because my son is sleeping through most of the nights.
CC - On to the new team: this is a bit of a switch because you seemed to pretty comfortable with Kodakgallery.com-Sierra Nevada.
DP - Yes, Kelly Benefits, it is a new team, built by Jonas Carney. There are 12 riders, four of them Canadian, so it is pretty good. It was tough to leave Kodakgallery, but at the end of this year our director left (Jonas Carney), the mechanic, the soigneur ... so it wasn't the same team.
When Jonas came to the team (Kodakgallery), he really turned it around. A good director is very important, so when he made the offer to me and Martin it was good to be able to go with him. The team is hiring young, talented riders like Mark Hinnen, so I'm really stoked.
CC - What is the team program - mainly the U.S.?
DP - We are aiming at two or three stage races in South America, and maybe a spring stint in Europe, but mainly the U.S. The calendar in the U.S. is so full now that there is lots of opportunity to race here. We probably won't get into the Tour of California - but that race is a bit of a problem to do well in since it is so early; you really have to be going hard in November to do well there. Our first race will be the Tour of Bahamas in early February, but Georgia will probably be our first big goal.
CC - And what about your role?
DP - My main goals for the season will be Georgia, Utah, Pan-American championships and Games, Tour de Beauce and Montreal-Boston. I will probably be one of the leaders for stage races, but it depends on who is going well - of course, I will focus on races with climbing. I'll be one of the experienced riders, so I'll be working to help some of he younger riders too.